Part 1: Episode 1-1: In a Remote Town
Coincidentally, this was also on the front of the brochure.
Come April, the harsh winter begins to loosen its grip on the land. The nights grow shorter, and the snow begins to thaw. In this majestic setting lies a small town not far from Fairbanks, whose inhabitants are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring. Montgomery Memorial Hospital watches over the town like an old man.
Someone needs to keep these people away from figurative language.
And in this hospital toil two doctors who are about to be swallowed by the jaws of fate…
The new chapter-select menu is space-themed for whatever reason. As you can see, the game opens with a few tutorials that can be safely skipped if you're experienced with the series. They just give you a chance to practice a few basic skills before beginning. You have difficulty in one corner(it's set to "special" because the tutorial is highlighted. I'm on hard.) and the single-player/co-op switch in the other. Unlike in the other games, every single chapter in New Blood other than the prologue and ending has an operation.
Of course, we'll be starting from the beginning. I haven't played it in hard enough to get anything better than a C yet, but I have an S back on normal.
There is a separate high score chart per doctor(and co-op) per difficulty. I've never used the Wi-Fi leader boards, but they exist as well.
Episode 1-1: In a Remote Town
Meet Val. She must be pretty cold out here in that.
In case you didn't notice his jacker(I didn't until just now) this is Erik Hayes.
Erik: The patient's a 40-year-old male. He has a gash on his chest, and he's losing blood fast!
Valerie: What happened?
Erik: He ignored the tour guide's warning and picked a fight with a grizzly bear. Heart pressure is 70, heart rate is 130, and he's lost consciousness!
Blood pressure is usually expressed with two numbers, the systolic(contraction of the heart's chambers) and diastolic(relaxing of the chambers) but we only have one here. I'm assuming it's systolic, because 70 is normal for the diastolic number.
Valerie: …Can you hear me? We're going to take you to the hospital. My name is Valerie Blaylock, I'll be treating you. You've been badly injured, but it's not hopeless. You're lucky there are two skilled doctors in a remote place like this.
This is pretty great bedside manner. "You're pretty much screwed, but I guess we're good at this, so, hey, maybe not."
The only nurse in town is named Marcy Bloom. She always looks a little deranged.
And here's Markus, sporting the Phoenix Wright hairdo.
Markus: Have Erik make a trip to the blood center. Now, what about the X-rays?
Valerie: He has two broken bones. We'll need to rebuild them.
Markus: It's hard to believe these situations don't phase me anymore. And here I thought I'd be able to kick back and enjoy the northern lights.
Valerie: Oh, quit your whining.
Marcy: Doctor, the patient's vitals are dropping.
Markus: Let's get down to business. I have dinner reservations.
And so, we come to the new briefing screen for New Blood. There are some nice changes. Firstly, it's much nicer visually, featuring an actual background like in UtK. There's also a patient chart, which they scribble on throughout the briefing. In functional terms, the time limit indicator and summary are still there, joined by an indicator of starting vitals.
I'm not sure if Atlus is still using names from medical dramas at this point, but I'll continue to check. The biggest google result for Reinhard/Reinhardt is a prominent Nazi, which, you know, probably isn't it.
As for his affliction, well, grizzly bears, also known as silvertip bears, live in a range from Alaska down through western Canada to the northwestern United States. Males can be over 8 meters on their hind legs, and weigh over 1000 pounds. Most attacks result from a bear that is protecting it's young or food. Don't feed the bears.
Marcy: Let's begin the conference. The patient has suffered a large laceration, extending from his right shoulder to his chest. He also has a compound fracture in his right arm. The bone fragments are aggravating the surrounding tissue.
This being a compound fracture means he has open wounds along with the broken bones.
Marcy: There are two objectives in this operation. The first is to stop the bleeding and suture the wound. The second is to repair the broken bones.
Valerie: The blood won't be arriving for awhile.
Markus: We don't have time. We have to begin the procedure right away.
Between the briefing and the operation, you select which doctor you'll use. In co-op, player 1 selects a doctor and the player 2 gets the other one. I'll show you Markus' info this time, and Valerie's next time. After that, I'll be skipping this screen.
Anyway, today's surgeon will be…
Dr. Markus Vaughn!
The first operation. We'll be going over some basics and changed from Second Opinion today. I like to provide a shorter summary of the action in screenshots as well as the video, but in this case the summary is definitely much more involved, since I didn't want to inflate the video too explain things a lot of the viewers already know. So, for the first few operations, you should read the text version of the operation if you're unfamiliar with Trauma Center: Second Opinion or New Blood. If you know what's happening, you should watch the video and skip to the point where OPERATION END is written.
The first tool is the syringe. Mostly, you use it to restore vitals by injecting the green fluid into the play field--it doesn't even necessarily need to be part of the patient. There are some other things you'll be injecting, as context demands.
On the subject of vitals, you'll note that there is a faded bar going up to the maximum vitals point for this patient. This means you can actually see what the max is, unlike in previous games.
Right on the nunchuck stick corresponds to the sutures, or stitches. The game really only cares how many stitches you make, rather than their placement. It might just be me, but New Blood generally likes them wider and narrower than Second Opinion. You'll be ranked Bad, Good, or Cool depending on how well you do them. Cools are the key to a good score.
One of my favourites, the antibiotic gel restores vitals, slows large wounds, completely heals small wounds, sterilizes incision points, and is pretty much a cure-all for everything. Compared to Second Opinion, the spread of the gel is larger.
In most operations, you'll need to make an incision and get inside the patient. New Blood will actually give you a "miss" if you don't sterilize first, whereas SO just gave you a Bad. A "miss" means vitals will drop and your combo is broken. Any misses in an operation will generally guarantee an awful score.
This part of the operation is almost the same as Z-1 in Second Opinion. One difference is that the bone fragments are actually stuck in the skin this time. The forceps are needed to remove them. You press A and B at the same time to "pinch" them together and pick up the fragments. You'll want to move them away from the point of entry to avoid a miss.
Fragment removal is ranked by how straight your removal is. I'm not very good at them.
Like in SO, you need to align the radius. Or the ulna, whichever it was supposed to be. Unlike in SO, you have a guideline to make it easy.
Atlus made use of the Wii's revolutionary motion-sensitivity by making you rotate the pieces by twisting your wrist as you re-align them. It's a puzzle, and the solution can be tricky at first, but it's not hard to memorize if you want a high score.
I'm not really sure how the fragments are staying in place. Best not to think about it.
If you didn't believe that the gel is a cure-all, you should take a look at this. It can heal broken bones.
The last step of almost every operation is closing the patient up. You suture the incision, apply gel to make sure it's good and closed, and then bandage it.
The end-of-operation scoring systems and displays have been substantially upgraded from Second Opinion. You still have 5 points per second and point of vitals, but now you also have a chain bonus. Your chain increases as you successfully perform actions. It resets if you get a Bad or Miss, or from certain other mistakes. At the end, you get a chain bonus equal to your highest chain times 5.
Another change from SO is that you can see how many special bonuses there are, although you still can't see WHAT they are. The bonuses themselves are pretty self-explanatory, but it's worth noting that, while other games in the series award you points for bonuses, New Blood gives you a higher score multiplier. The decimal places of each bonus are added to 1.0 to give you your skill bonus multiplier, which is then applied to the sum of all the regular bonuses and added to your operation score. This actually makes good ranks nearly impossible to attain if you aren't good at getting Cools, since a full multiplier won't help a bad score.
By the way, I missed out on the bonus for a high maximum chain that time, due to a Bad I got removing the bone fragments.
The ranks are the same as Second Opinion:
C- Rookie Doctor
A- Senior Surgeon
S- Master Surgeon
XS- Medical Prodigy (You can only get this on hard difficulty.)
Don't expect too many XS ranks this time around, as they are extremely difficult to produce on demand, and I'll be more focused on showing things off than giving flawless runs. The game is even more bipolar about its ranking than Second Opinion, somehow, and if you don't get S/XS, you will very likely end up with a C.
Valerie: He'll need to remain here for about five days. Should I send a bill for "guided tour of Montgomery Memorial" to his travel agent?
I guess it's customary to make fun of patients who try to fight a bear because you have to be pretty stupid to try that. Incidentally, I excised some "witty banter" from this scene because it was ridiculous.
It's the hospital director, Miles Hoover. He seems to have a completely different art style from everyone else.
Markus: It did.
Hoover: I'll take it from here, as long as you don't mind stepping aside for an old-timer like me.
Markus: Not at all, just call me if anything comes up. I'll be at Lucky's enjoying some grilled salmon.
Valerie: Well, I'd be happy to stay a little longer, sir.
Hoover: That's quite all right, Dr. Blaylock. There's nothing more we can do for the time being.
And that's it for the first episode. Next time: a major change for a certain tool, and some funny accents.